This August marks the 50th anniversary of Tri-CU Credit Union. Originally founded in 1969 by the IBEW Local #112 electricians union, they have been serving this community ever since (although they have changed their name a couple times). Tri-CU will be celebrating throughout the month of August by allowing new members to choose charities, to which Tri-CU will donate $50 each. In addition Tri-CU will hold a party in their lobby on Friday, August 2nd from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. The party will include free "swag," snow cones, cookies, a dunk tank, and a membership raffle for golden charity tickets of $500 each.
Tri-CU is the only small Credit Union left in the Tri-Cities, after Monad and SECU merged out of existence in recent years. Tri-CU is one of the only truly local credit unions, along with GESA and HAPO. In 2018 Tri-CU relocated to their new office on the corner of 19th Avenue and Highway 395. Tri-CU was the first local business to donate public artwork to the city of Kennewick, and the first business in Kennewick to receive a "bicycle friendly business" designation by the League of American Bicyclists. Tri-CU has been and continues to be an active sponsor of local events and charities, including the See3Slam, Kiwanis and Rotary events, 2nd Harvest, the United Way, the Union Gospel Mission, and more. Tri-CU has grown rapidly over the past 10 years, they have tripled in asset size and employees over that period.
Originally known as IBEW #112 Federal Credit Union (only for electricians and their families), in 1986 they became Kennewick Community Federal Credit Union serving the entire Kennewick Community, then in 2009 they became Tri‐Cities Credit Union, serving anyone who lives, works, or worships in Benton or Franklin County. Tri-CU currently serves approximately 5,600 members with a broad range of competitive deposit and loan products and services. Their most popular loans include HVAC financing, fast in-house mortgages, bare land loans, manufactured homes, and autos. Tri-CU operated out of the old office on Kennewick Avenue for nearly 40 years, and has approximately $45 Million in assets. Credit Unions are tax-exempt because they are not-for-profit financial cooperatives. Tri-CU is led by a volunteer un-paid board of directors elected by the membership.
For the third consecutive time, Hanford’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP), or Vit Plant, has earned the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) highest certification for excellence in occupational and health protection.
The Vit Plant was first awarded Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star status in 2010, and was recertified in 2014 and again this year. Contractors whose programs meet requirements for outstanding safety and health programs receive this recognition.
"Our workforce takes great pride in this award," said Valerie McCain, principal vice president and WTP project director for Bechtel National, Inc., WTP Project contractor. "VPP Star status is another validation that our project and our subcontractor, Waste Treatment Completion Company, demonstrate that safety is a core value to the project’s culture. A positive safety culture is important as we move forward to finish Direct Feed Low-Activity Waste construction and startup testing, and move into the commissioning phase."
Earlier this year, a VPP team from DOE headquarters conducted a Vit Plant site review to gauge employee and management involvement in safety programs. The team noted several positive attributes of the jobsite’s culture and worker-safety programs, including management observations, culture and safety committees, and stop-work authority. The review team also noted that management expectations are communicated effectively and there is a trusting and respectful environment among workers and management.
"Building and sustaining a positive safety culture is a continuous journey," said Tom Fletcher, the DOE Office of River Protection’s WTP federal project director. "It’s encouraging to see the level of involvement employees have in WTP worker-owned safety programs, and VPP Star status is another example of their engagement in workplace safety."
DOE’s VPP was established in 1994 and mirrors the Occupational Health and Safety Administration VPP. DOE VPP participation is open to contractors employed at DOE facilities. The program includes expanded criteria because of the unique hazards and complexity of work at these facilities.
Global aviation database Official Aviation Guide (OAG) has named Tri-Cities Airport (PSC) one of North America’s busiest small airports for 2019. With 518,405 scheduled seats in the last 12 months (June 2018 to May 2019), PSC is the eighth-busiest small airport on the continent.
OAG categorizes an airport as “small” if it has more than 10,000 departing seats annually but less than .05% of scheduled departing seat capacity in North America. There are 543 such airports in the continent’s aviation system, and PSC is one of the ten busiest.
Tri-Cities Airport currently has an average of 20 daily flights to Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Phoenix-Mesa, Salt Lake City, San Francisco and Seattle. The airport’s available seats will rise this summer as Delta begins a fourth nonstop flight to Minneapolis-St. Paul and serves Salt Lake City on a larger plane. Increased seasonal service from Allegiant Airlines will also provide more availability to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Phoenix.
“Reports like OAG’s highlight the importance of small airports in our aviation system, and how meaningful it is to be able to travel anywhere in the world from Tri-Cities Airport,” said Buck Taft, Airport Director. “We’re grateful to our airline partners for increasing the opportunities to fly out of Tri-Cities, and to our community for choosing their local airport to begin their journey.”
According to OAG’s North American Airport Leaders 2019 report released this month, the top five busiest small airports are Hector International Airport in Fargo, North Dakota; Akron-Canton Airport, Cleveland, Ohio; Key West International Airport, Key West, Florida; Billing Logan International, Billings, Montana; and Rick Husband Amarillo International, in Amarillo, Texas. Of the top ten, only one non-US airport made the list: Yellowknife Airport, in Canada’s Northwest Territories.
OAG is the world's leading provider of digital flight information, intelligence and analytics for airports, airlines and travel tech companies. OAG collects flight details for more than 900 airlines and over 4,000 airports around the world. More information about the report can be found at oag.com.
Presenter Rick Peenstra will be presenting a workshop on Business Plans made Easy sponsored by the Port of Pasco.
You will learn: Traits of Successful Business Owners; Business Ownership Options; Business Structure Options; Components of Business Operation; Business Plan Basics; and Sources of Capital to Start your Business.
The workshop will be from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm on Wednesday June 26 at Port of Benton 1110 Osprey Point Ave, Pasco, WA.
This seminar is the latest in a series of workshops provided to the business community by SCORE, Mid-Columbia Tri-Cities Chapter.
For more Information about the workshop & to register, go to
https://midcolumbiatricities.score.org. Click on Take A Workshop – Business Plans made Easy.
Tri-Cities Cancer Center and Kadlec Hematology and Oncology to Host Campus Anniversary Open House June 20
In recognition of the Tri-Cities Cancer Center’s 25th Anniversary and Kadlec’s 75th Anniversary, we will be hosting a Campus Anniversary Open House on Thursday, June 20th from 5 to 7pm. The event will be held at the Tri-Cities Cancer Center located at 7350 W. Deschutes Avenue in Kennewick.
The theme for the Campus Anniversary Open House is Family Game Night and will include a variety of activities such as:
Two significant attractions in Kennewick’s Columbia Park reopen on Saturday, June 15 just in time for summer fun. The public is invited to attend a dedication ceremony at the Toyota of Tri-Cities Playground of Dreams at 11a, and a noon ribbon cutting at the new Columbia River Landing building at the Columbia Park Golf Tri-Plex.
The celebration includes live music, prizes, demonstrations and half-price membership specials at the Columbia Park Golf Tri-Plex from 11a to 4p.
The state-of-the-art, inclusive playground replaces the weathered and deteriorating wood structure originally constructed by donors and volunteers in 1999. The rebuild ensures the legacy of the Toyota of Tri-Cities Playground of Dreams continues for future generations, said Parks and Recreation Director Emily Estes-Cross. “We’re grateful and wish to honor those that had the vision to build the first playground, and thankful to the community for its continued commitment two decades later to fund a safe, inclusive, dreamworthy playground,” said Estes-Cross.
The 1,600 square foot modern structure is constructed of durable materials that resist heat and splinters, includes custom elements iconic of the Tri-Cities, and features an inclusive design that enables kids of various abilities to play side-by-side with their peers.
In addition to Toyota of Tri-Cities, the $1 million rebuild has been financially supported by the Tri-City Water Follies, Columbia Center Rotary, Port of Kennewick, Laborers Union Local #348, KVEW TV, Conover Insurance, the Permobil Foundation, a donation fund balance from the original Playground of Dreams construction, and $325,000 from the city budget.
Inscribed pickets purchased by donors that made up the fenceline of the original playground are available for pickup at the Southridge Sports and Events Complex during business hours through August 6. More information is available at go2kennewick.com/PlaygroundOfDreams.
The 2,600 square foot Columbia River Landing facility features a full service kitchen and 1,200 square foot patio with river views, in addition to hosting golf course operations. It replaces the original golf course clubhouse that was constructed in 1961.
The rebranded Tri-Plex offers 18-holes of traditional golf on a 3-par course, foot golf and disc golf.
For more information, please contact Emily Estes-Cross at (509) 585-4258.
June is a heady time in eastern Washington as cherry harvest commences. Northwest Cherry Growers announced last week that they estimate regional orchards will bring 24.3 million 20-pound box equivalents to market. That figure is a bit of a drop from the May estimates, but still strong. Recent warm weather has growers optimistic that the flavor and quality of cherries will be excellent in 2019.
Cherry season peaks in July with the sweet morsels gracing grocery store shelves across the U.S. and the world. Washington is the nation’s foremost producer of sweet cherries, with Oregon and California following it. Most cherries in Washington are grown in the Yakima Valley with Chukar’s hometown of Prosser at the epicenter. During the 2019 season, Chukar will take in over 175 tons of fresh cherries from local growers they have partnered with for years. “We’re gearing up for a big season” says Chukar’s General Manager and Prosser native, Tim Oten. “The excitement is palpable as we visit area orchards—talking with growers and checking the fruit for firmness and sugar content.”
While the hills surrounding Chukar’s factory headquarters and flagship store are lined with vineyards, the valleys between are home to the world’s premier cherry trees—most of which are owned by family farmers. In 1988 Chukar Cherries began on one of those very orchards—and it was watching unpicked cherries sweeten on the tree as they dried in the sun that inspired cherry grower Pam Montgomery to begin drying the cherries naturally. Studies at UC Davis concluded that drying cherries without added sugar or preservatives was not plausible, but Pam believed the natural sugars in tree-ripened cherries were enough. She developed her own natural drying process using a hand-built dehydrator that still dries cherries at Chukar’s original manufacturing facility in Prosser today.
In addition to their other product lines, Chukar Cherries has recently expanded their organic offerings. The number of acres that have transitioned to organic production continues to rise, but organic cherries accounted for only about 3% of total production in 2018 according to the Washington State Tree Fruit Association. Partnering with several of these organic orchards, Chukar offers not only USDA Certified Organic dried sweet and tart cherries but also organic chocolate-covered cherries.
Chukar’s organic offerings and Northwest gifts are available online at CHUKAR.COM, at the company’s flagship store in Prosser, in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, and at a host of premier retailers.
The City of Richland will celebrate the grand opening of the new City Hall on Monday, June 10, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The event will include opening remarks, a flag raising ceremony, a ribbon cutting, and facility tours.
The public is invited and encouraged to attend. The event will take place on the north side courtyard facing Swift Blvd.
“We are thrilled to see years of planning for the Swift Corridor and the new City Hall come to fruition,” states City Manager, Cindy Reents. “We look forward to celebrating with our citizens and community partners”.
After the ceremony, guests will be invited into City Hall for refreshments and tours. Employees will be available on each floor to assist the public and answer questions.
The new, three-story building (with basement) is located at 625 Swift Blvd. on the corner of Swift Boulevard and Jadwin Avenue. The structure combines three aging facilities and many of Richland’s service divisions under one roof. This includes the City Manager’s Office, City Attorney’s Office, Administrative Services (including Human Resources, Finance and Customer Service), Public Works, Development Services (including Planning, Permitting, Housing and Economic Development), Richland Energy Services Energy Efficiency Program and Communications & Marketing.
For more information on the City of Richland, visit www.ci.richland.wa.us.
After interviewing 11 candidates and deliberations, City Council selected by majority vote to appoint Ed Frost to serve in the vacant At Large City Council position until the November 2019 General Election certification. Mr. Frost will be sworn in at a Special Meeting on Tuesday, June 11th, at 6:00 pm.
We were very encouraged by the quality candidates who took the time to apply for this position and their passion for wanting to serve our community!
The council position being filled was previously held by Councilmember Steve Young who passed away on May 16th.
The Trios Health Southridge Hospital OR has earned the 2018 OR of the Year Award from LifeNet Health | Pacific Northwest.
The award was given in recognition of Trios’ work with LifeNet to help with tissue recovery and donations, and for the cooperation, willingness, timeliness, and flexibility to make accommodations for those recoveries to occur.
In 2018, Trios operating rooms were used 19 times by LifeNet Health to recover tissue for donors. Each donor can enhance or save the lives of up to 150 people, and recoveries through Trios last year have already impacted more than 850 people in the Northwest and will continue to be used to enhance and save lives.
“It’s a huge, huge contribution,” Gretchen Lopez, Donor Relations Account Manager for LifeNet Health | Pacific Northwest, told the Trios Southridge Hospital OR staff. “LifeNet Health is the largest tissue bank in the U.S., and we could not make that happen without the flexibility, willingness, and cooperation of the facilities we work with.”
Trios was the top facility LifeNet Health works with in eastern Washington for tissue recovery in 2018. Lopez said the operating room staff has always been helpful with tissue recovery and has gone the extra mile to be flexible and timely.
Email your press release and a photo to Austin Regimbal, Marketing & Communications Director. Press releases are posted in their entirety. This is a free benefit for members of the Tri-City Regional Chamber.